Greenhouse sanitation is an important component in the reduction of insects and diseases and reducing the need for chemical pesticides and fungicides. An effective sanitation program requires commitment by the greenhouse staff, as well as the users, to be successful. Sanitation should always be practiced in the greenhouse, in adjoining buildings, and in the immediate external environment of the greenhouse. Proper greenhouse sanitation is a continual, year-round process.
No smoking or tobacco products. (AU Smoking Policy)
It is the policy of Auburn University to prohibit smoking of tobacco in areas where non-smokers will be affected. As a result of this policy, smoking is not allowed in any area of the PSRC greenhouse, headhouse, surrounding buildings, or within the immediate perimeter of the greenhouse or nursery pad area. Smokeless tobacco (chewing tobacco, dip, snuff, pouches) is prohibited as well. Both types of tobacco can carry tobacco mosaic virus which can be transmitted by human hands to the research plant material. For users that do smoke or use smokeless types of tobacco, it is imperative that you thoroughly wash and sanitize your hands prior to entering the greenhouse.
Appropriate footwear is required for all greenhouse personnel, users, and visitors entering the greenhouse. Closed-toe shoes are required. Sandals are prohibited. Long pants and long sleeve shirts are recommended. Shorts and short sleeve shirts are permitted.
Proper sanitation of hands, feet, and clothing will greatly reduce contamination of research projects by pests and pathogens. Do not enter a greenhouse unless you have a purpose to do so. Insects and pathogens are commonly transferred from one greenhouse to another on skin and clothing.
Disinfection mats are placed at both front and back entrances to the greenhouse. Please step in them with both feet every time you enter the greenhouse. Your feet will not get wet. Only the bottom of your shoes will be disinfected. This practice will significantly reduce field pathogens being tracked into the greenhouses. A hand wash station with hand soap and a bucket of nitrile gloves is located directly inside the greenhouse doorway. Upon entering the greenhouse, hands should be washed in hot, soapy water.
A sanitation program is in place for all standard pots and trays at the greenhouse. Pots are cleaned and sanitized by PSRC staff after each use either by autoclaving or by washing in a bleach/water solution. Other items including inserts (606, 806, 1206 etc.), flats, plant labels, and mesh pot lining material are one-time use products and should be disposed of in the trash after one use. Do not save and reuse these items. Put dirty containers and tools in the proper place. These items are not to be reused until they have been sanitized.
Hose hangers are available in all greenhouse zones. Please keep hose ends up off of the floor at all times. Hoses, couplers, water breakers and water wands are the property of the PSRC and may not be removed at any time.
Avoid placing plant material, pots or tools on the floor. The floor is not a desirable work or growing surface. Do not stand or sit on greenhouse benches.
Keep sterilized soils sterile. Do not reuse spilled soil, including that which accumulates on the floor or tables during potting. Potting mix that has been on the floor should be discarded in the compost bin.
All greenhouse and headhouse space and equipment is to be kept clean and orderly by the users. Greenhouse carts are to be hosed off after use by the user and returned to the hallway. Greenhouses are not storage areas for containers, equipment, or other supplies. No items are to be stored under or on benches. Any such clutter left at any PSRC facility including the greenhouse, headhouse or potting areas will be removed without notice by the PSRC staff and disposed of.
Greenhouse doors must be kept closed while working in greenhouses to prevent the introduction of weeds and insects and to maintain environmental conditions.
Do not leave projects, equipment, supplies, or samples in the headhouse without permission of greenhouse personnel. Remember, all work areas are shared. Please be mindful of the other greenhouse users.
All new plant material introduced into the greenhouse should be inspected for infestations. Infested plants will not be allowed in the greenhouses and will be quarantined, treated with a pesticide, and be free of pests prior to placement in the greenhouse. Please contact the director to discuss treatments. No personal plants from home/house plants are to be grown or kept at the facility.
It is the responsibility of the greenhouse user to coordinate the disposal of their plant material in a timely manner during and after the completion of a project.
All waste plant material, soil and media should be placed in the compost bin outside of the greenhouse immediately after removal from the experiment site, even on weekends and holidays. Wheelbarrows are located in the greenhouse hallway to accommodate the transport of these waste goods to the compost bin. Please do not discard any non-biodegradable materials (pots, flats, labels, sticky tags) in the compost bin. Those materials should be placed in the dumpster or garbage cans located near the exterior greenhouse doors. Avoid using the garbage cans for plant and soil disposal as the cans become too heavy to lift. Leaving plant materials in the greenhouse hallways may lead to the spread of insect and disease problems.